Thursday, November 26, 2009
Now you know what you already knew about Congress delivering the goods for their paymasters
by Larry Geller
Obama’s teleprompter may be the butt of jokes, but Congress seems to have its own—the drug industry writes the lines they speak.
Well, you knew this, of course. They say what they are paid to say. Here it is, exposed in print, something a bit rare.
In black and white you can read that the same drug companies that pay out huge campaign contributions also write speeches for the representatives (and I use the term reluctantly) to insert in the Congressional Record or to use on the floor. Of course, there is no connection between the
bribes … … (what else to call it?) (but I would never suggest that…) and the opinions they are voicing.
Trouble is, when many almost identical statements appear, it becomes obvious that these folks lack even the brains to personalize the words a little bit so it won’t look like they’re on the take. The New York Times has exposed them:
The boilerplate in the Congressional Record included some conversational touches, as if actually delivered on the House floor.
In the standard Democratic statement, Representative Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania said: “Let me repeat that for some of my friends on the other side of the aisle. This bill will create high-paying, high-quality jobs in health care delivery, technology and research in the United States.”
Mr. Brady’s chief of staff, Stanley V. White, said he had received the draft statement from a lobbyist for Genentech’s parent company, Roche. [NY Times, In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’ , 11/14/2009]
How effective was this propaganda campaign?
The New York Times observed in an editorial:
As Robert Pear reported in The Times on Sunday, statements inserted into the official record by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by lobbyists working for Genentech, a large biotechnology company that expects to prosper under some of the provisions in the reform legislation. The company estimates that 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats picked up some of its talking points. [New York Times, Puppets in Congress,11/16/2009]
So what we all knew all along is now out in print, in one of the largest newspapers in the country. People now know officially. But what will come of it?
In our democracy, nothing.